ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday appreciated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for “once again raising his voice in support of the rights of the Kashmiri people” during his address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
“Turkey’s unwavering support remains a source of strength for the Kashmiris in their legitimate struggle for self-determination,” said the premier.
Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif also expressed gratitude to President Erdogan “for raising the Kashmir issue”. “Kashmiris will remember him as their great friend who advocated their right to self-determination at every forum of the world.”
Erdogan, in his address via video-link on Tuesday, called the Kashmir conflict — which he said was also key to the stability and peace of South Asia — “a burning issue”.
“Steps taken following the abolition of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir further complicated the problem. We are in favour of solving this issue through dialogue within the framework of the UN resolutions and especially in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir.”
The president, according said racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and hate speech have reached an “alarming level”. “Muslims are the most exposed to these dangerous tendencies fueled by prejudice and ignorance,” he was quoted as saying.
“Those who are primarily responsible for this dangerous course are politicians who turn to populist rhetoric for the sake of votes, and marginal segments who legitimise hate speech by abusing the freedom of expression.”
Speaking on the conflict between Israel and Palestine, he said it could only be solved with an “independent, sovereign Palestine with geographical continuity and east Jerusalem as its capital”.
“Countries that voice their intention to open an embassy in Jerusalem only serve to further complicate the (Palestine-Israel) conflict,” Erdogan was quoted as saying. “Turkey will not support any plan that the Palestinian people do not give consent to.”